Sunny skies, warm breezes and a happy attitude permeated through Fort Collins last weekend.  Friday was a sensational day, with the temperature reading 64°F as Dustin and I pulled out of the Lory Student Center parking lot.  Armed with a truck full of fishing gear, we drove to the Poudre River just outside of town where it crosses Overland Trail.  Many other anglers were getting waded up and some were finishing their days on the water.  This must be a popular spot, because Dustin and I really had to work to find open “fishy” water.  Dustin and I are courteous anglers, and maybe a little more courteous than busy waters deem, which leaves us scouring for water more often than fishing.  At last we found some open water just west of the school.  There were no signs yelling “No  Trespassing” so I think we were okay.  Two gentlemen were a bit of a ways downstream, and from what I witnessed, they didn’t get a bite.  Not that I can brag and say I caught anything either, but it was a good way to spend the afternoon.

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Oodles of homework was splayed out on the table, but a day fishing sounded like a much better way to spend a Saturday.  After Dustin tied a few patterns, we drove to Estes Park to do a little fishing on the Big T.  We looked for some open water en route, but much as it was a few weeks ago, most of it still is pretty thick ice.  Once in Estes, we came to understand what fishing in Colorado is all about.  There were fisherman EVERYWHERE, and in some cases almost standing shoulder to shoulder.  We thought the Poudre was crowded, but it paled in crowded comparison to the Thompson.  Again, Dustin and I meandered around trying to find a hole in which to cast.  Two small holes ended up being our target, and well we missed.  No fish on Saturday either.  Not just for us, but for everyone we talked with.  To be honest, Dustin was a little impatient.  I am not sure he was feeling it with so many people around.  Both of us commented that we felt like we were at Bennett Springs, shoulder to shoulder fishing and only a few friendlies in the bunch.  This,we hope, will get better as the water gets bigger.  As of right now, there just isn’t many places to fish.  I still had fun though.


Deciding he wasn’t feeling the cozy atmosphere the Big Thompson was providing, we drove into RMNP.  The roads were spic and span, and the mountains, as always were breathtaking.  Snowshoeing or cross country skiing is in our near future, I suspect.  We laughed with each other all day about our fate.  How lucky are we that we drive an hour and are surrounded by all things naturally wondrous?


Despite all the traffic on the river, it felt good to fish again.  It had been awhile, so I feel like I had a bit of learning curve for the first thirty minutes are so.  After that, things started to feel a little more comfortable.  Too bad the fish did not cooperate. 

Hours and hours indoors will be the theme this week.  I have a lab report due and an a couple of exams on top of normally weekly homework, but more importantly it is too darn cold to do much of anything.  We are sure paying for our January spring because tomorrow it won’t get above zero.  Burr.


Written by Stephanie Mullins



Better to have fished without a bite, than to not have fished at all.

Always sounds better when you're the not the one without a bite right? But at least you two got outside for a bit and what beautiful views! Wow! There're just amazing!


Hey, it's great that you got out anyway since that stinky old coldfront is coming our way…Yeah, we are supposed to be in a deep freeze too. I'm hoping that you will find some good spots to show me when I come out there for the OBN get-together! Heehee


Not to worry Stephanie. When the warm weather comes (if it comes!) the Poudre opens up quite a bit. I've never had to fight for a place to fish. The Thompson might be something else. It seems to have gotten more popular in the past couple of years.

Midge Man

Guys… Take heart… It's January and you're dealing with a freestone river and a small top release tailwater. Water temps are very low and about your only shot would be to spoon feed a trout you've spotted and stalked. Water's cold, fish are cold as well. Things will perk up before too long.


Great photos, and great to hear you guys got out. All those people will thin out, they are just got the feaver like the rest.
If you want to get rid of them, Its possible sometimes to just hook one and let it chase them off.


Fantastic scenery! You are some lucky folks. Except for the homework. Ah, well – study hard, then play hard!

Thanks for sharing –



Stephanie & Dustin – Can't really say that I can add anything about the fishing that hasn't already been said. I think Midge Man hit it right on the head. Anyway, absolutely beautiful pictures. Brings back a lot of memories for me.


I have to echo what Midge Man and Cofisher said – you won't have worry when everything opens up. Spend your time now getting to know the roads, do a bunch of exploring, and get familiar with the area. You've got world-class fishing right around the corner.

Now – take a deep breath and relax … Spring will be here soon


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